We have set up a new public Jenkins CI
server for use with our open source projects. This server
currently runs the Stack
integration tests, and deploys to ci.haskell-lang.org and
ci.stackage.org every time a commit
is pushed to the
master branch of their respective
In the future, we also intend to set up Jenkins to run the Stack
integration tests on all supported platforms (rather than only
Linux) using additional Jenkins workers, and get it to run them for
pull requests as well.
While we use Travis CI,
there are a couple of ways it does not meet our needs that Jenkins
helps us with:
For long builds, we hit the 50 minute job timeout. While a
standard series of tests should not exceed this amount of time, we
also want to run more exhaustive integration tests which sometimes
take longer. We can let Travis run the standard tests on PRs, and
then periodically run the more extensive tests on Jenkins.
Some projects need to build Docker images. While Travis does support this, it
means enabling the "standard" (non container-based) environment for
jobs, which in turn does not support caching builds for public
projects. For Haskell projects in particular, working without a
cache means very long build times.
Projects also need to push Docker images to a registry and
deploy them to a Kubernetes
cluster. This requires exposing credentials to builds, which is
impossible to secure when building code that uses TemplateHaskell,
which allows running arbitrary code during the build.
For these projects, we continue to use Travis for quick feedback
on PRs, but let Jenkins take care of the integration tests and
deployments where we need more control over resource limitations
and isolation of different build phases.
We run all the builds and tests on ephemeral, isolated Jenkins
workers using the Docker
plugin. These workers do not have access to any credentials, so
there is no risk of credentials "leaking" into build logs or
otherwise being accessed inappropriately.
For projects that need auto-deployment, the isolated
build job stages the assets to be deployed, and then a
separate deploy job is triggered if the build is successful.
The deploy job runs on the Jenkins master which has access to
required credentials, but it does not check out the project's
source code from Github or run anything developer-provided. It only
copies the built artifacts from the upstream job, builds and pushes
a Docker image, and then updates a Kubernetes
Deployment with the new image. Our public Jenkins server does
not ever see any credentials for proprietary repos or
mission-critical infrastructure, so even if security is breached it
will have no effect beyond the CI system itself.
For production deployments of open source applications, we have
a separate private Jenkins server that builds from the
prod branch of the Git repositories, and deploys to a
separate cluster. We ensure that the
prod branch is
protected so that only project administrators can trigger a
We avoid using too many Jenkins-specific features. Essentially,
we use Jenkins to perform triggering, notification and provide the
build environment, but don't use Jenkins plugins to build Docker
images or perform deployments. The Jenkins Docker plugin
could commit an image after building and testing the code,
but then we would have large images containing the whole build
environment rather than minimal images containing only the
application to deploy. We prefer instead to leave it to our own
custom tooling that we can tailor to our needs and which can be run
in many different environments so that we are not locked into
Jenkins. A developer with access to the right credentials could, if
necessary, perform the process easily from their own workstation by
running the same build and
deploy scripts as the Jenkins jobs run.
The Jenkins servers themselves run on EC2, with all cloud
infrastructure managed using Hashicorp's Terraform, and the instances managed
using Red Hat's Ansible. The
Kubernetes cluster is set up using CoreOS's kube-aws
Subscribe to our blog via email
Email subscriptions come from our Atom feed and are handled by Blogtrottr. You will only receive notifications of blog posts, and can unsubscribe any time.
Do you like this blog post and need help with Next Generation Software Engineering, DevSecOps or Blockchain & Smart Contracts? Contact us.